"It seems like we've been hit with a press blackout," said UMWA Press Secretary, Cal Ward. "I know the White House has a habit of blocking news coverage, but it's something we, as Democrats, are not used to. It feels like this administration is trying to intimidate us. Frankly, we're not concerned. Obama may be from Chicago, but the UMWA invented intimidation."
It has been a very unusual Presidential Election year for Democrats. State leaders: Senator Joe Manchin, Representative Nick Joe Rahall, and Governor Earl Ray Tombin have been less than clear about who they would vote for and many across the country are staying away from the Democratic Convention, all together. Nonetheless, it came as a shock when it was reported that for the first time ever, the UMWA chose not to endorse either party's presumptive presidential nominees: Democrat, Barack Obama or Republican, Mitt Romney.
However, that's not the complete story. What seems to have been omitted from the press coverage is who the Coal Union HAS chosen to endorse.
"We are proud to announce we have broken with tradition and decided to listen to our rank and file members," said Cecil Roberts. "There is no way in h--- we can support that ------- Obama. He's killing the coal industry and West Virginia. He's not even slipping money under the table, anymore.
"The West Virginia Democratic Primary practically went to Keith Russell Judd ...and we figure, 'why the h--- not!?' It'll actually save us some time. Usually, it takes years to get one of our politicians in prison."
More than 42% of West Virginia Democrats cast their primary ballot for Keith Russell Judd, an inmate at the Beaumont Federal Correctional Institution in Texarkana, Texas. He's doing time for extortion and threats made at the University of New Mexico in 1999. He also claims to be a former member of the Federation of Super Heroes.
Keith Russell was unable to comment, being directed by his attorney to plead the fifth.
Asked why the coal union wouldn't endorse Romney, a coal supporter, a clearly agitated Roberts said, "We don't care how supportive Mitt Romney is of coal. He's a Republican. Are you really asking this question? Do you realize who you're talking to? I'm the -----ing President of the ----ing UMWA. Can you even name the last time we endorsed someone who would likely carry West Virginia -- or actually supported our industry?"
Already getting on board with the uprecidended endorsement, it has been rumored that party officials in Southern West Virgina have attempted to buy votes with cartons of cigarettes.
In honor of Russell's typical wardrobe choices, the campaign has made orange the official color of this campaign season.